CNU XV Blog, Part 13: fire departments and skinny streets

MLewyn's picture

For most of Saturday morning and early afternoon I was at historic Mikveh Israel synagogue (www.mikvehisrael.org), site of America's second oldest (I think) Jewish congregation- so I missed more CNU stuff than usual.

Having said that, I saw some interesting stuff Saturday morning, most notably a discussion of how to keep streets skinny while satisfying fire marshals. Dan Burden noted that fire marshals generally prefer 20 feet of space to accommodate fire trucks; he suggested accommodating them through midblock curb extensions; thus, a street can be 20 feet wide for motorists, but fire trucks can find extra space in the middle of the block so they can unload bulky fire equipment. John Anderson was less optimistic, suggesting that New Urbanists may need statewide fire code reforms in order to force public works departments to accept narrower streets.

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